This is just a quick post to inform potential applicants about the competitiveness of receiving an NROTC Marine Option scholarship. I applied for the 4-year scholarship in the fall of my senior year (2013). My package included: -4.2 GPA -288 PFT -1260 SAT (CR: 670 M:590) -8 letters of recommendation including one from an Air Force colonel, retired Navy captain, Marine major, and Marine chief warrant officer. -2 varsity letters for cross-country -leadership positions in student gov't, student council, and a community service organization as well as membership in my school's Leadership Institute Impact program -National Honor Society member -multiple academic and citizenship awards -summer part-time job cutting the grass at my church I also was selected and attended the 2012 US Naval Academy Summer Seminar, Virginia Boys State, and the USMC Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy between my junior and senior years. My application was finished well before the early board which convened in October (there are two boards for Marine Option, in 2013 one was around late October and one around late February). No scholarship awarded for either board. One thing I did note was the number of scholarships given out, or lack thereof. I live in northern Virginia, which is regarded as one of the most, if not the most competitive districts in the country for military scholarships/ service academy appointments. What surprised me were the numbers: for the first board only five were selected, for the second only two. So seven people selected out of the toughest district goes to show difficult it truly is. Now, fast forward to this past year. I chose to attend Virginia Tech, which is one of the six senior military colleges with a corps of cadets. One of the reasons for going was that they had one of the highest numbers of sideload (3 and 2-year) scholarships given out to any unit for NROTC Marine Option in the country. Long story short, the unit was great with working with me and setting me up for success as the MOI (Marine Officer Instructor) and AMOI (Assistant Marine Officer Instructor) essentially put together your whole package. You also automatically get a recommendation from your MOI (mine was a Marine major, although it's usually a captain) and your unit CO, which for me was a Navy captain. I just filled out the paperwork and gave them any information they needed. I finished up the semester with a 3.56 GPA and 292 PFT score. Additionally, I had gained a ton more experience by being in the corps of cadets and in the NROTC unit as a college programmer (non-scholarship). I received word in mid-april of this year that myself and the two other midshipmen who were nominated by the unit received the sideload scholarship. What I'm hearing is that there were 28 sideloads given out across the nation this year. This is good news since the past few years only had single-digit numbers from what I've been told. I'm writing this to show the current state of NROTC Marine Option scholarships, which are the hardest scholarship to earn in regards to the limited number of them. Since the Marine Corps is the smallest branch, they will always have the smallest number of scholarships. That's just the way it works. Hopefully someone finds this information useful and informative in their journey to obtain a Marine commission. Lastly, two important things. First, NROTC is NOT the only way to get a commission as a Marine Officer. Do some research and learn about PLC (Platoon Leaders Class), which should be your backup. Simply getting into the Marine officer commissioning pipeline is very difficult right now, so don't worry about which program is more prestigious or whatever. The Naval Academy also commissions Marine officers, so go check them out especially if you are still in high school. Second, my unit at VT would not nominate anyone for the scholarship who had below a 3.5 GPA and <250 PFT because those are basically the minimums to be competitive for the scholarship. Your first semester in college really matters if you're not on scholarship, so ensure you make a good impression on your unit and do well academically and physically. Good luck!